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MARY POPPINS RETURNS
“One thing you should know about Mary Poppins: she never explains anything."
There’s an open, unabashed, pure strain of sweetness that runs through Mary Poppins Returns that is so potent my brain didn’t really know how to process it. There’s no side to it, no pessimism, no cynicism. In that way it reminds me very much of Paddington and its sequel, set in a perfect London with plenty of whimsy. It’s a shame then, that the comparison to Paddington doesn’t do Mary Poppins any favours, because as good as it is, it’s no Paddington. Paddington is super sweet, but also has cleverness and subversion and a wry wit. Paddington is a family film, Mary Poppins is more a kid's film (and a big kid’s film). The performances are good (including the , who succeed where so many others fail in being non-annoying actors), although very broad and generally one note. There’s a couple of great songs, but most are good. The musical numbers are packed with money and scale and old fashioned musical style. But for me, there was very little that was outstanding. And I know I’m barking up the wrong tree here, because it doesn’t make sense and it knows it doesn’t make sense and it even lampshades it in the script, but it just doesn’t make sense. So much of it is just killing time until the next song, some of which are just killing time as well (I’m looking at you, Meryl). And there’s no sense of danger or belief that anything major will actually go wrong because Mary Poppins is some kind of reality-bending god that can do as she pleases. I’d say if you’re a musical person you’ll love it, if you’re not you’ll like it, and if you’re a teenager who thinks nice things are lame, you’ll hate it. Also, how old is Angela Lansbury? Good grief. She’s been old as long as I’ve been alive.
3 deus ex machina ducks out of 5
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